Spark up to boost your productivity

A woman was recently banned from advertising for a ‘hard-working receptionist’ after the description was deemed to be discriminatory.

The optician, Mrs Millican, was shocked when the Jobcentre said she had to drop the phrase in her search for someone to fill the £5-an-hour post, according to Optician magazine.

Elsewhere, scientists have discovered that cannabis helps you see in the dark. A study of Moroccan fishermen found that when they went out to sea at night, they seemed to navigate better when high on local ‘kif‘ – a mixture of cannabis and tobacco.

As you have no doubt noticed, the combination of these stories offers an excellent opportunity for HR to affect the bottom line.

Everybody knows that discrimination is bad and lowers productivity. If Jobcentres – a government institution – say hard work is discriminatory, then who are we to argue?

The question then is how do we ensure we avoid the dangers of hard work? One word: kif. Issuing staff with a daily dosage will not only lower their propensity for ‘hard work’ and therefore discriminatory behaviour, they will be able to work later into the night due to much improved eyesight.

Everyone’s a winner.

Ol‘ blue face fails to swing it in US

As a writer of high-quality management advice, Guru has, in the past, been described as a ‘journalist’. He has been called several other rude names, but this is clearly the most discourteous of them all.

One of the upshots of this is that holidays in the US (Land of the Free, remember?) have become rather difficult. If you put ‘journalist’ on your holiday visa, the chances of being turned back at immigration increase about four-fold. Just try to get a work permit to be a journo; a new visa system makes it more difficult than holding down a job as a football manager.

Political entreaties on whether the US should be trying to restrict free press access aside, Guru feels the limitations on the free movement of his trade are unfair. However, he is glad he is not a stripper from Mexico, trying to get into Canada.

If these exotic senoritas want to get a job, the Canadian embassy in Mexico has decreed “stage photos during performances are required”. This means officials are presently poring over naked photos to make sure the ladies have the right, err, skills. Guru imagines bosses might see a rather sharp rise in productivity and overtime.

Get the most out of your dead horse

The tribal wisdom of the Dakota Indians, passed from generation to generation, states that when you discover you are riding a dead horse, the best strategy is to dismount.

In this day and age, however, perhaps we need a modern take on the whole thing. Guru heartily endorses these alternative approaches:

* Buying a stronger whip, and flogging the horse until it shows signs of life

* Threatening the horse with termination

* Appointing a committee to study the horse

* Hiring outside consultants to prepare a report on benchmarking dead-horse performance

* Lowering the standards so that dead horses can be included

* Providing additional funding for external training courses to improve the dead horse’s performance

* Doing a productivity study to see if lighter riders would increase the dead horse’s output

* Noting that as the dead horse does not have to be fed, it is less costly, carries lower overheads, and therefore contributes substantially more to the bottom line of the business than do some other horses

* Promoting the dead horse to a senior management position

* Offering the horse career counselling and the option of a transfer to a less stressful position of equivalent status.

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